EPISODE 145

Listen in as Sasha Plavsic, founder of ILIA Beauty, confesses how difficult it was to rebrand the business she had conceived and given birth to nine years ago. It was time for the update, for sure, but it also involved letting go of a lot of her past…and it felt like losing an old friend. You’ll want to hear Sasha discuss this painful but necessary part of growing a business and how she’s getting comfortable with the next phase of her “baby’s” journey.

 

AnnouncerWelcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty™, hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey everybody, it's Jodi Katz, your host of Where Brains Meet Beauty™ podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. This week's episode features Sasha Plavsic, she's the Founder of ILIA Beauty. And if you missed last week's episode, it featured Amy Carra, she's the Senior Director of Brand Innovation at Delight Beauty. I hope you enjoy the shows.

Hey everybody, I'm very excited to be sitting with Sasha Plavsic, she is the Founder of ILIA Beauty. Welcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty™.
Sasha PlavsicThank you for having me.
Jodi KatzRight before we closed the door to the podcast room, Natalie, on my team, ran into the room and was totally fan-girling. Fan-girling? Girl fanning?
Sasha PlavsicFan-girling.
Jodi KatzFan-girling over you, and your products.
Sasha PlavsicAnd that never happens, and I got shy.
Jodi KatzDoes it really never happen?
Sasha PlavsicNo. I think, sometimes I'll see somebody, and maybe they know somebody from somebody, but yeah, it doesn't happen too often. When it does, I always think it's nice, but it's also weird because I just think, I'm just a normal person, making product.
Jodi KatzThat's the thing, you're a normal person who makes her day, right? When she puts on that product, ... I mean, she's been in the beauty industry forever, she's been exposed to thousands of product, and that she loves yours so much that she can't wait to tell you.
Sasha PlavsicI mean, my response to all that is when somebody comes up to me, or we get a customer email ... Yesterday, when we launched our new product, somebody put a comment up of, "This is for everybody, and it really is! I told my mom about it, people need to know about you. You guys are so good." Those are the ones that really, they make me happy because, for all the ups and downs of it, it really makes it worth it when somebody says that to you, from the heart.
Jodi KatzYeah, it's so sweet, right? I mean, she's really a fan, I can tell. I've never seen Natalie that excited, it was like she was seeing the Beatles, so that's really cool.

My first question that we're going to start with, I know part of the answer already because Morgan and my team was at your event this morning. I always ask, how will you spend your day today? Because I just love minutia, I'm obsessed with minutia. I know that, this morning, you hosted a breakfast for editors, is that right?
Sasha PlavsicYeah, today we had a press breakfast for editors, for the launch of our Super Serum Skin Tint, SPF40. Say it fast, five times.
Jodi KatzWait. Tell me again?
Sasha PlavsicSuper Serum Skin Tint, SPF40.
Jodi KatzSuper Serum Skin Tint, SPF40.
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzI want to try it one more time, without giggling. Do it again?
Sasha PlavsicSuper Serum Skin Tint, SPF40.
Jodi KatzSuper Serum Skin Tint, SPF40. You can totally have your fans try to do this, as a tongue twister.
Sasha PlavsicI know. Well, by law, on the packaging we have to say "Broad spectrum sunscreen," so I won't throw that one in.
Jodi KatzYeah, it's more fun to do all the S's.
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzThe alliteration's awesome.
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzOkay, this morning you hosted how many people?
Sasha PlavsicOh, I think there was probably about 25 of us.
Jodi KatzAre you speaking in front of these people, or is someone speaking in our behalf?
Sasha PlavsicI was speaking in front of them, but not for too long because that can get boring. I want to keep people interested. But, I told them a little bit about the history, and that we've been around for a decade, which is shocking. At times, I really have to remind myself that it's almost been a decade, it's nine years this year. And that we went through rebrand this week, which means it was emotional, because I had to let go of something that I created when it launched. It's a complete turnover, visually, for the brand, which I'm really happy about. But, it is a change. Then, we launched a product that's probably, by far, the most challenging product I've ever worked on. Not just for me, but for everybody on my team. So, it was a big week.
Jodi KatzSo, you're team birthed a new brand, look and feel?
Sasha PlavsicYes. Well, we worked in conjunction with a branding agency. This was roughly about a year ago, I had my second baby. I had this moment where I just realized, I really want to make a change, I'm tired of the way the brand looks. It has been around for nine years, and actually, in fairness, I designed it almost 10 years ago. It's like when you look at, maybe, a coat you've had for 10 years, you maybe don't want it anymore because it's not in style.

I felt that the brand, and the logo were calling to a previous decade, and that, for this decade, it needed to be modernized and updated. When you start with one product, it's easy, and you can nail the color for the packaging. But, when you start working with different vendors, and we were doing that metalization, sometimes the color came out a little green, sometimes it came out a little gold. And, metalization in general, is just not great for the environment. One step at a time towards sustainability, let's see how we can simplify that.
Jodi KatzYou expressed that this was a challenging shift, an emotional shift. Did it feel like saying goodbye to an old friend?
Sasha PlavsicI think so. Actually, it was my birthday on Sunday, my 41st.
Jodi KatzHappy birthday.
Sasha PlavsicThank you. That was also, maybe, its own emotional wave. But, I was bawling on the phone to my business partner, and I think it was just this major release of so many things that we've wanted for so long, that have come into play. The brand really did take its time to build, I don't think that the consumer was ready for clean beauty. We were much, even more, organic before. The customer, and the consumer are in a much different place today, and there was a slow build. It felt like, in the last week, it's finally come to the top. With that, comes a lot of emotion.
Jodi KatzWith those tears with your business partner, is it tears of, "Oh my God, I'm so glad that we saw this through," is it, "I can't believe we made this happen?" Is it mourning for the past? What do you think they're rooted in?
Sasha PlavsicIt's weird, there was sadness, I think in mourning. There was fear, in how much we're actually dealing with on a day-to-day basis, and how much we're growing, and how much we're handling. And yesterday, when we launched, there was definitely happiness. And fear for our Social Media Manager, with how many comments we had on Instagram. We actually all had to get in, there was several of us in there, to be able to answer. Even today, I think there's 700 comments on one of the posts, and 500 on the other, so it was really busy.

But, fear is definitely something I feel like most of us are constantly faced with. You have to check yourself when that happens, and make a decision on what you want to do with it. That was one of those moments, this weekend.
Jodi KatzSo, after you have the emotional release, what did you decide in your head, of what to do with that?
Sasha PlavsicI decided to feel good about it. I physically felt tired, and I do think it's been a build for this rebrand. It started last March, and it's been pedal to the metal, because you have to order many of these things in June, in order to have them in stock at this time of year. We had to turn it around fast, and be okay with where it was going.

Then, messaging wise we've always had it, but we haven't faced it forward in the way that I've wanted. So, to bring all that out, and really say who we are and what we do, and that we're here to protect and revive your skin, it really is the nature of the brand. It feels amazing to have that come out, with more clarity.
Jodi KatzThis idea of re-envisioning the messaging, I get challenged by that with my agency. Because I feel like once we go through the process, and we get it out there, then a minute later it's time to do it again. Right? The business changes so quickly, the industry changes so quickly, and what our customer is looking for keeps evolving with the marketplace. Just when I think at the moment where I want to relax, and just ride-
Sasha PlavsicIt changes?
Jodi Katz... and coast. Yes, it's time to do it all over again. It's really amazing, and you'll find that with the brand, too.
Sasha PlavsicYeah. Well, the packaging, we can't do that. We have to stick with it, now that we've done it. But, the messaging ...
Jodi KatzYeah, but the messaging.
Sasha PlavsicYes.
Jodi KatzHoning in on the questions people are asking, and the confusion that they have, right? There's always an opportunity to tell your story.
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzWith more clarity, and with more depth. That, to me, is the pace of the business that is the most challenging.
Sasha PlavsicYeah. No, it definitely is. And, to be clear, I actually like to, so to speak, move around in the messaging, and we do have the tagline on our Insta that says, "Skincare powered makeup." In three words, if nobody knew what I did, and they said, "What do you do?" I make skincare powered makeup. It gives a pretty decent picture, but there's so much more to it.

We have another tagline that's "skin-centric beauty," meaning that pretty much everything we also do focuses on the skin, as a starting point. "Wake up skin, makeup the rest," it keeps going on. But, all of those bits and pieces are what I want for the brand, and who we are, what we do, and then what the customer should be experiencing.

I'm hoping that it starts to resonate, and that there's better clarity there. There is so many people in this space, now, and I think makeup and skincare are really merging as a category. We can see it happening. Our point of difference, there, is definitely with SPF, and the skincare actives that we include in our products.
Jodi KatzSo, I want to dive deep into you, because when I had an intake call with you last week, I had a free therapy session out of it. It was so amazing, you were so calm.
Sasha PlavsicIt was Mom Therapy.
Jodi KatzSpeaking of which, the phone just rang in the room, and it was the elementary school. So great, the Nurse's Office.
Sasha PlavsicOh my God, I'm worried. Do you feel like you need to call them back?
Jodi KatzNo.
Sasha PlavsicWe can take a break.
Jodi KatzNo, I know what it is.
Sasha PlavsicOkay, okay.
Jodi KatzI know what the complaint is.
Sasha PlavsicOh, complaint?
Jodi KatzWell you know, I know what my daughter is struggling with.
Sasha PlavsicOkay.
Jodi KatzIt's not an emergency.
Sasha PlavsicOkay.
Jodi KatzBut you know, it's been a moan, right?
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzAn ongoing moan.
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzBut, not a crisis.
Sasha PlavsicYeah, the girls, the girls will moan.
Jodi KatzOkay. Wait, we want to know what else you're going to do with your day today. So, you're with us now ... You spoke in front of the press this morning, you're with us now. What's the rest of your day hold for you?
Sasha PlavsicToday, I think after this, all I have is a Sephora training. I actually don't even know, but I believe I'm going in store for two hours, I'm going to be training their cast.
Jodi KatzOh, fun!
Sasha PlavsicAnd talking to them about the product, getting in front of them, and in front of customers, which is another place I love to go. Running a business, I think as Founders, if you have a product and you're selling it, you don't spend a lot of time there. It's a pretty important place to be, because that's where the magic happens.

Yeah, we're doing a couple of those. There's one in SoHo, one in Union Square, and one more, somewhere else. As well as Credo Beauty, later this week.
Jodi KatzI mean, if you don't have your own stores, the third party retailers are your boots on the ground, right? They're the ones who either know where your products in the store when people ask for them, or know what the favorites, or the top selling ones, or the best ones are for them, right?
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzIf you don't get to them, then what's the point of everything you're doing?
Sasha PlavsicYou have to, and in the beauty industry specifically, you have to have a good field team, meaning your boots on the ground. Those people are there to tell people that you exist, tell them what you're about, and ideally, attract new customers to the brand.
Jodi KatzThere's been so many times we've done research for clients, and we walk into a retailer and we say, "Where is XYZ?" The staff is like, "I don't know, never heard of it." What a miss, right?
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzProduct sitting on that shelf, somewhere in that store, and the staff doesn't know it's there.
Sasha PlavsicYeah. I'd actually say, that's common. For us, we're still, in my eyes, an unknown brand. One of the big points in this category, in general, for more Indie brands, is to get that brand awareness. So being there, physically, talking to people. Not just digitally, through Instagram. Being more visually present, for marketing efforts in everything, that's a big initiative for us this year.
Jodi KatzSo, let's talk about you. You told me, you came from a normal-ish background. What does that mean?
Sasha PlavsicMy parents didn't get divorced. Maybe it's the other way around? No. I think, I was raised in a nice, sleepy community, outside of Vancouver, outside the city of Vancouver. My dad was an architect, my mom stayed home. I was very lucky to have that, growing up. She took amazing care of us. I was on the swim team, and I went to public high school, and I had great friends. We would spend our summers in the ocean, down by the beach, where we grew up. It was really gorgeous. Nature, up in Canada, is so beautiful. I mean, you're surrounded by these ... especially in the summer, these really vivid colors, blue sky, lots of trees, tons of fresh air. It was a beautiful childhood.
Jodi KatzYou were looking at science or math as a field, is that right?
Sasha PlavsicYeah. In Vancouver, there was also a large Asian population, and extremely studious, very hard working. It was pushed in our school that these are the two areas that you should be focusing on, as this is where the future is. It was extremely challenging, because there were many intelligent people in our class, that pushed us.

I felt like, if I wanted to ... I was told, and trained that if I wanted to get a job, I had to excel in these two areas. Creativity, or anything else around that, was not really important. Social studies, and English literature were just add-ons. Yeah, I was trained to think that science and math were the way to go.
Jodi KatzBut, where did your heart want to be?
Sasha PlavsicIn photography, probably like most people, back in the late '90s. When you would still develop photos in the photo studio, and hang out in the dark room with friends, and that's where I spent the last couple years. I was more in the design side, we were just learning graphic design on ... I don't even think they had iMacs back then, but there was some graphic design. I loved it, I loved to be able to think creatively, and be in my own space.
Jodi KatzWhat did a career look like for you in your daydream, back then?
Sasha PlavsicWhen I realized math and science wasn't going to be it, I thought that ... Well, when I told my parents I wanted to be a photographer, my dad, who is an artist ... An architect is really an artist, in many ways. He was freaked out, he's like, "No way." He's like, "If you're going to support yourself, you're not going to be able to do that."

Maybe it's in Canada, there was more of a fear of going out and doing something that may be off the cuff, and potentially not succeed. One thing I love about the United States is that I feel that, if you have an idea, people get behind it, and they support the underdog. They want you to go for it, and win. That's something, in this country, which is actually what brought me down here.
Jodi KatzYou told me that you had worked at a branding firm, got a job with Urban Decay. But then, left it, because you were feeling lost.
Sasha PlavsicI was feeling lost. So, I worked in branding, and I did creative direction. I specifically worked with a lot of Founders, in between them and, usually, whatever serious company had come in as an investor, to liaise between the two, and help steer things in a new direction. I was briefly with Urban Decay, and I came on as a freelancer. They offered me an opportunity there. It was a great place to work, they were growing so fast, and the office was really fun.

But, personally, I was in a tough spot. I'd been with somebody for 10 years, and he wanted to get married. He half proposed, with a necklace with two diamonds in it, which was, maybe, his way of saying, "I'm not sure if you're going to say yes, so I'm going to start here." But, something just didn't feel right. He's the sweetest guy, I still love him so much, he was my first love, but I just felt that something was off.
Jodi KatzBut, he knew too, because he didn't go full throttle?
Sasha PlavsicI think he knew that something was off with me. We had actually ... I'd lived in London, and he had lived in Toronto, so we had a couple years apart, together, apart, together. In the end, we were really trying to make it work. Southern California, he got a job there, and we moved there. But, I knew after a year of living together ... and it was a picture perfect year. We had a really cool mid-Century house, on a street called Top of the World Drive.
Jodi KatzReally? Top of the World?
Sasha PlavsicYeah, in Laguna Beach. It was gorgeous. But, I decided to blow it all up, leave the job opportunity, and return to Vancouver, to where my parents were still living. I hadn't been home since I was, really, 18, and start over. Or, start with something, and that meant starting with nothing.
Jodi KatzSo, what did loss mean to you, at that time?
Sasha PlavsicIt was painful. I think I was just really curious to be free, and explore. I wanted to go traveling, I wanted to see and do new things. The loss, at the time, ... I was younger, I think I was 27, 28, when it happened, in that Saturn Return that I talked to you about the other day. I really shook it up, without realizing what the consequences would be. And, there was consequences, it was really painful.

Anybody whose been through a breakup, when you're with somebody for a long time, it is not easy. It actually took me five years to move on from that, I didn't realize how much it would haunt me, but it haunted me.
Jodi KatzCan you tell us about what Saturn Return means?
Sasha PlavsicA Saturn Return is when the planets and the stars ... this is so West coast. The planets and stars are in the exact alignment they were when you were born, so they say that happens every 28 years. So a lot of the time, around your 28th birthday if you go back and think of what happened in your life, there could be a moment where you decided to make a change. I also just think, naturally, it's when we start to grow up, and realize that we don't have to please everybody else around us, and we want to please ourselves, and make decision for ourself, and what we want to do, as opposed to what we think people want us to do. That was that moment.
Jodi KatzDo you think that the healing, to get over the breakup, that took five years, is also your pathway to actually figuring out what you want to do, and how to please yourself?
Sasha PlavsicTotally. It was being completely selfish, and I had the luxury of time, and being single, and being roughly 30, to think about what I wanted to do. I could go in the Internet and research ideas, I could go hang out with friends, I could go travel, I could work and make some money on the side. There was all this freedom in front of me, and I was curious. I was curious about things around me, and that's when I became more curious about what was in my products. I downloaded a PDF on how to make lipstick, and then it was just one step, in front of the other.
Jodi KatzThat's so cool. I have this idea of the way that I spend my time during the day, and this is as of a few years ago, not my whole life. But, I feel like my biggest job, during the day, is working on myself. So, work is a conduit to that, being a mom is a conduit to that, same with being a friend, or a wife, or whatever. But, the number one job I have is actually my own growth, or healing, or feeling serene, or at peace, right in the world. Then, there's the job, then there's the other job, and there's podcast. But, the main job is me, my head space. When you're talking about this five year path to growth and healing, it reminds me of the way that I think about my days.
Sasha PlavsicYeah, absolutely. I think every day, we're trying to balance. The word balance is so big right now, and there's tons of yoga, and different meditation classes, and people are trying to find space. They're trying to find space to think, and it's getting harder and harder to do that. If we even think about how much social media has change in the last five, six years, it's insane. We didn't have Instagram several years ago, Stories has only existed for the last few.

Absolutely, finding your own space, every day, I would say it's about 5%, if I want to be in reality for myself. But, having that 5% of time is super important, with how much we're expected to balance and juggle these days.
Jodi KatzWell, when we talked last week, I was having this what, WTF kind of moment. Sorry. A WTF moment about the pace of the business, and running my business. You painted a picture for me that was, really, so impactful. I went home and told my husband about it, I told a few other people about it. It was about a seesaw, although you called it a teeter-totter.
Sasha PlavsicYeah. It might be a Canadianism.
Jodi KatzIt might be, or maybe I'm just Jersey, and we call it a seesaw.
Sasha PlavsicSeesaw.
Jodi KatzBut, why don't you tell me about what your seesaw visualization is, and I can tell you how it impacted me?
Sasha PlavsicAbsolutely. I think the word balance is something that you don't get to, it's something that you can hold for a minute. The same if you've done meditation, there's a feeling that you can enter in meditation where you just feel this moment of clarity, and everything is just as it should be. I believe that's the same in feeling balance within yourself. It's important to know that you shouldn't be hard on yourself if you feel like you're going to knock out of balance, because you will.

Being on a seesaw, and balancing, means that you're going up and down, left and right. Eventually, one's going to take more weight. Just know that you can balance that back up again, that's what balance really is.

So, for people to think, "I need to always be balanced," that going to be really challenging, and you're going to be really hard on yourself to get there. We have to know that if we can strive towards it, that's what matters. For me, I try to do that a little bit in the morning, with five minutes to myself before I'm with my kids, if I can, and at night, because if I'm in a little bit more balance, then I actually face the day, or even face, if they're screaming or crying in the morning, from a more centered place where it doesn't emotionally affect me in the same way.
Jodi KatzSo, the seesaw was just such a strong, powerful image in my mind, because what I learned from you in that moment, when I really needed it, was that my five minute meditation app that I do, and usually my daughter lies in bed with me and we do it together, even though, can I really clear my thoughts? No. But, I hear the music, and it's a ritual now, it feels good. Those five minute are the moment of balance on the seesaw. Then, the rest of the day is up, down, sideways, right? It's like, up and down, flip me over.
Sasha PlavsicJump off.
Jodi KatzThey're crazy. But, that's just the way the seesaw works, that's just life. I'll get my five minutes, and maybe that's just what I need, and all that I should expect in terms of this idea of balance. That the up and the down is just the normal way, the normal mechanics, and the physics of life.
Sasha PlavsicIt's totally normal. There's so much up and down, and back and forward, and left and right, and going in circles because we are doing so much. Women, I think, in general, should you choose to have a career, or even kids, or without kids, there's just so much happening, and so much to be done, you need to have a moment to realize, it's okay. And, slow down, turn off the phone at night, if you can. Or, just step away from it. Where can we enjoy those little moments, and be present?

I know you hear so many people say that, but I just turned 41, again, and I really, really realize it. It's those little moments that we'll remember. Even from when you were a kid, don't you feel like you remember some moments really clearly, more than big events?
Jodi KatzRight. When I hear music from the '80s, day camp, I think of camp.
Sasha PlavsicTotally.
Jodi KatzI think of cheer, and all these things. This seesaw, because I'm obsessed with this idea, I think the day I talked to you on the phone, I was the person on the seesaw where the other kid was on the ground, and wouldn't let me go down. I was high up in the air, and I was wagging my legs like, "Let me down, let me down, I don't want to be up here anymore," and starting to freak out. That's the day I was having.

Just to know that, okay, tonight, or tomorrow morning, I'll get back to balance for a little while. Then, some other routine happens on the seesaw. It was just so comforting to me, really. You left such a strong impression, and my way to mental health, my pathway to mental health. I'm so grateful for it.
Sasha PlavsicOh no, you're welcome. I mean, I think, at the end of the day, it's totally a part of all of us, and we're really hard on ourselves, we've got to back off and say that it's going to be ... We have to know that it's going to be okay, we really do.
Jodi KatzIt's hard to learn this, though. If you don't grow up in a family that's talking ... I mean, what families were talking about this? Very few, when I was growing up. I didn't walk into this entrepreneurial life with a toolbox for sanity, or how to find serenity. I knew about what I see that's on TVs, and books, and movies. But, also people weren't open, they wouldn't talk about their feelings, right? This is a new frontier for a lot of people, we need to lean on each other.
Sasha PlavsicYeah, because a lot of us feel the same things, and maybe people don't want to say it, or they think it's going to look bad, give a bad impression, but we're all human.
Jodi KatzWhich is the whole point of this show.
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzTo humanize this business, I'm glad that we're doing it. I want to go to something in the business that I always thought was so fun to talk about, which is the day that Sephora called.
Sasha PlavsicThe day that Sephora called? There was irony to that, because I think I had just got my Visa, and landed in the US. I remember when she called, and said, "I really love what you're doing, I think it's really unique. I would love to stay in touch with you." I said, "I would love to stay in touch with you, too. Thank you so much for calling," I was totally flattered. But I also knew, in the back of my mind, there was no way I could go to that galaxy, because Sephora is its own galaxy of, when you get on the train, if you do it right, the train's going to pick up speed. And you can't have one person on that train. You can't have, actually, even a few people on that train. Then, the train needs fuel, which is capital.

It took several years. She called in 2012, and then we launched with one SKU in 2016. There was a big gap, of which I had those four years to play with formulas. Figure out that some of the really organic ones didn't work, and didn't perform. That's when I started introducing a hybrid of safe synthetics, and combining that with actives of skincare, to see if I could create something in between. It's what Clean became.
Jodi KatzSo, do you remember what you were wearing that day, when they called first? Or, what music was playing, or what room you were in?
Sasha PlavsicSo, I had an apartment in LA, but I hadn't even gone to it yet. I think ... Did I drive down? I may have driven down. My folks were renting a little casita, in Palm Springs, or Palm Desert. I remember, I was looking out on the back lawn, onto a golf course where there was a lot of retired people playing golf, and I remember the light was coming down. I remember the warmth of the sun, because it was the winter, and I was coming from Canada. Yeah, I remember all that.
Jodi KatzThat's so cool. How did you take that phone call, and then four years later turn it into business?
Sasha PlavsicWe just stayed in touch. It's interesting, the merchant that we worked with there, she's a little younger than me. We're roughly in the same age group. I think we both knew that the consumer wasn't ready for this category. In fairness to the category, I was figuring out how to make what I was making, and I wasn't in a category because I had always used certain synthetics. So, I wasn't totally natural, I wasn't totally organic, and Clean hadn't really started yet. So, there wasn't a strong foothold for it.

Now, there is. We saw skincare happen, and then hair. Her and I knew this, and color is last to the party. But, it's definitely arriving with a bang this year.
Jodi KatzYou just strike me as someone who exudes calm, and nurturing. How does your Sasha-ness come through in the business, when you have employees?
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzCan they soak up some of this-
Sasha PlavsicNot calm.
Jodi Katz... Sasha stuff?
Sasha PlavsicSometimes. I think kindness goes a long way. Sometimes, it wasn't kind. My brother and I worked together for several years, and he still involved in the company but is taking a little bit of his own time, right now, which I'm super proud of him for doing. As he contributed a lot, and you get burned out when you work really hard, so he's taking some time out. But, we would fight, at times.
Jodi KatzLike fight, like brother and sister yelling at each other?
Sasha PlavsicTotally, major sibling stuff.
Jodi KatzOh my gosh.
Sasha PlavsicYeah. You already said this, I said that. It's almost, you want to take that away, but we just have always been like that.
Jodi KatzBut that's rooted in, "Who does mom love more?"
Sasha PlavsicOh, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. He was the baby boy, so I'll leave it at that. It could be comical. We came from an Eastern European family, Serbian background, so things were voiced, loudly.
Jodi KatzSo, you were yelling at each other in front of your team?
Sasha PlavsicNo, we decided to try and go outside to do that, when it had to happen. There'd be a little eye contact like, "Let's take it outside." We tried to be courteous, at that point. But, with the rest of the team, I really like to make sure that people are supported. With the growth that we've been having, I really think that, no matter what stage you're at, you have to be able to roll up your sleeves and get in there.

Even yesterday, the CEO and I were on Instagram, answering questions because social media was overwhelmed, and we realized we needed another person.
Jodi KatzAll these questions were because of the product launching?
Sasha PlavsicYeah.
Jodi KatzWow.
Sasha PlavsicYeah, there was a lot of questions. You want to be able to get to them, and we had customer service and social media in there, but it wasn't enough. Okay, let's roll up our sleeves and get in there. If somebody is having an issue on our team, I feel like most of the team's pretty open, and they'll come to me, and we'll figure what we can do to fix it. We don't have a high turnover, at this point, on the company, and I'm proud of that, just because I think that we're doing our best to build a team. It's really a team, at the end of the day.

I can't do what I do without all these people around me, there's no way that would happen. Each of them play a vital role in each step forward for the company, especially today.
Jodi KatzWell Sasha, I adore you, I love the therapy session that I've benefited from, twice now. And now, I have your phone number, so I might be calling again.
Sasha PlavsicAnytime, any hour.
Jodi KatzWhen I'm swinging my feet saying, "Let me down! I want to get down. This seesaw's nuts."
Sasha PlavsicNuts.
Jodi KatzWell, thank you for sharing your wisdom with me, and all our listeners today.
Sasha PlavsicThank you for having me today.
Jodi KatzFor our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Sasha. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes, and for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram @WhereBrainsMeetBeautyPodcast.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to Where Brains Meet Beauty™, with Jodi Katz. Tune in again, for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.
Scroll to top